Potassium Rich Foods
Potassium is a chemical element which occurs in nature only in the form of ionic salts. Potassium ions are essential for the functioning of all living cells. Normal nerve transmission requires the transfer of potassium ions across nerve cell membranes; the excess and deficiency of potassium can each result in numerous symptoms and signs, including various electrocardiographic abnormalities and an abnormal heart rhythm.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are good dietary sources of potassium. The body responds to the influx of dietary potassium, which increases serum potassium levels, by increasing potassium excretion by the kidneys and shifting potassium from outside to inside cells.
Although bananas are a good source of potassium, there are various other nutritious foods, including beetroot, legumes and sweet potatoes that offer more potassium per serving. Eating a range of plant foods every day is the key to getting enough potassium. Fish is a good animal-based source of this mineral too.
Which Foods are High in Potassium?
Potassium is a vital electrolyte and mineral that your body needs to support healthy muscle and nerve function, transport nutrients into your cells and maintain normal blood pressure. It’s considered a vital nutrient because your body can’t produce it. Your recommended daily needs of potassium can be met with foods, such as:
Sweet potatoes are usually used as an alternative to white potatoes and are a nutritious way to support your potassium intake. Mashed sweet potato boasts 16% of the daily value in a one-cup serving.
They are also a good source of fibre and complex carbs, offer a small amount of protein, are low in fat, and are an excellent source of vitamin A (which is critical for vision).
For a filling and balanced meal, you can pair these delicious root vegetables with a protein source such as a little fat, some colourful or dark green vegetables, meat or beans.
It is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. One cup of frozen spinach contains 12% of your daily requirement for potassium, and 3 cups of raw spinach contains about 11% of your daily requirement.
There are other nutrients as well, as the same serving of frozen spinach contains 127% of the daily value for vitamin A, 37% of magnesium, 58% for folate and 857% of vitamin K.
Also Read: Best Weight Loss Drinks
Watermelon is a delicious and large fruit with high water content. Just 2 wedges (about 1/8 of a melon) provide just under 14% of the daily value for potassium. The same serving also contains 2.2 grams of fibre, 0.8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of protein and 44 grams of carbs. It is also a great source of vitamins A and C and magnesium.
Coconut water is a hydrating drink. It contains key electrolytes that help draw water into your cells, so it is an excellent natural alternative to sports drinks. Its natural sugars also help replenish lost glycogen stores afterwards and also provide energy during exercise.
Just 1 cup of coconut water contains 13% of the daily value for potassium. It’s also a good source of manganese, sodium and magnesium.
After a sweaty workout, coconut water is very refreshing when served chilled with ice. The varieties with added sugar should be avoided.
Beans are a nutritious source of plant-based protein and complex carbs. Just one cup of white kidney beans contains twice as much potassium as a banana or a whopping 21% of your daily requirement.
Phytates, an antinutrient that may reduce your body’s mineral absorption, are present in black beans, so you can soak dried beans overnight to help decrease their phytate content, as this compound will leach into the water. Both black and white beans are versatile and easy to add to stews.
Apart from beans, the legume family includes peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas and lentils, all of which are high in potassium. One cup of lentils contains 15% of your daily requirement for minerals, and the same amount of peanuts, soybeans and chickpeas contain 23%, 19% and 10% of your daily requirement respectively.
Certain legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils, contain phytates, so remember to soak them overnight to reduce their phytate content.
Tomato paste is made from cooked tomatoes that are seeded and peeled. 3 tablespoons contain more than 10% of the daily value. Tomato paste is also a good source of lycopene and vitamin C, a potent antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties.
This concentrated condiment adds flavour to all tomato-based dishes and sauces, but try to avoid products which have preservatives, additives or added sugars.
It is a starchy root vegetable that remains a staple food in numerous countries. One medium-boiled potato offers 12% of the daily value for potassium. There are many varieties of potatoes, and their potassium content might depend on the soil in which they are grown.
Dried apricots are normally pitted and have a long shelf life. Just half a cup provides 16% of the daily value of potassium. These fruits are also a good source of vitamins E and A and fibre. Dried apricots are used as a healthy snack for camping trips or hikes and are deliciously mixed into muesli.
1 cup of boiled beetroot gives you 11% of the daily value for potassium. This root vegetable contains nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide, which has been shown to support overall heart health and help blood vessels function.
Beetroot is also an excellent source of folate (a vitamin needed for DNA repair and synthesis) with 1 boiled cup providing 34% of the daily value. You can consume beetroot raw, pickled or boiled.
Also Read: Beetroot Benefits
Pomegranates are a many-seeded and extremely healthy fruit that vary in colour from purple to red. One whole fruit gives you 14% of the daily value of potassium. They are also packed with vitamins K and C, folate and have more proteins than most other fruits, at 4.7 grams per fruit.
Vegetable and Fruit Juices
Drinking vegetable and fruit juices is another easy way to increase your potassium intake. Citrus juices provide the most potassium. One cup of 100% orange juice provides about 10% of your daily recommended amount of potassium, and the same amount of grapefruit juice provides 9% of your daily recommended amount.
Potassium-rich fruit juices like pomegranates are also great alternatives. A 1-cup serving of pomegranate juice packs 11% of the daily value. Vegetable juices like one cup of carrot juice provide 15% of your daily requirement, and the same amount of tomato juice provides 10% of your daily requirement.
Excess salt consumption might lead to high blood pressure, so salt substitutes were designed to help reduce sodium intake. These substitutes replace sodium with another element or mix of elements, usually potassium, to reduce heart disease without diminishing the taste or reducing the perceived salt intake.
Regular salt is 100% sodium chloride, however, salt substitutes might be composed of 10% magnesium sulphate, 25% potassium chloride and 65% sodium chloride. Others might have 100% potassium chloride, which packs 11% of the daily value in just 1 gram. Salt substitutes that are high in potassium should be avoided by people with liver or kidney disease.
How much Potassium do You Need?
Like other minerals and vitamins, potassium is a micronutrient, which means you need to consume it only in small amounts (eg. milligrams). Mineral and vitamin needs are measured according to their Daily Values, the recommended amounts to consume per day.
4,700 mg is the daily value for potassium for healthy individuals. You can consume this amount by following a varied, wholesome diet.
Potassium is a vital element necessary for the human body. To incorporate it in sufficient quantities in your daily diet chart, it is advisable to seek medical help from an experienced dietitian. Timely care and help can ensure a potassium-rich diet which fulfils your body’s requirements.
At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a dietitian, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Ms. Prachi Jain at the CK Birla Hospital.
How much Potassium do You Require Every Day?
The recommended daily intake for potassium is 4,700 mg for most people.
Which Drink is High in Potassium?
Many fruit and vegetable drinks are high in potassium, especially carrot juice which offers 689 mg of potassium in 1 cup serving.
Is Papaya Rich in Potassium?
Yes, half papaya has 390 mg of potassium per serving, making it a fruit to consider for boosting your potassium levels.
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